- NAME: Steve Biko
- OCCUPATION: Activist
- BIRTH DATE: December 18, 1946
- DEATH DATE: September 12, 1977
- EDUCATION: St. Francis College, University of Natal Medical School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: King William's Town, South Africa
- PLACE OF DEATH: Pretoria, South Africa
- Full Name: Bantu Stephen Biko
- AKA: Stephen Biko
- AKA: Steve Biko
Best Known For
Steve Biko spearheaded the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa. He died in 1977, from injuries sustained while in police custody.
As Denzel Washington's career as a film star was on the rise, he searched for a role that would inspire the African American community. He found that role in the film "Cry Freedom" as South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko.
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In 1970, Biko married Ntsiki Mashalaba. The couple later had two children together: sons Nkosinathi and Samora. Biko also had two children with Mamphela Ramphele, an active member of the Black Consciousness Movement: daughter Lerato, who was born in 1974 and died of pneumonia at 2 months old, and son Hlumelo, born in 1978. Additionally, Biko had a child with Lorraine Tabane in 1977, a daughter named Motlatsi.
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African-Americans have a long history of activism in America, from fighting for the right to vote to pushing for integrated public spaces. Activists like Stokely Carmichael organized freedom rides, James Meredith fought to integrate blacks and whites at the University of Mississippi, and Rosa Parks instigated the Montgomery Bus Boycott. These protests were often legal and nonviolent, and made a powerful impact on civil rights in the United States. With the help of activists like these—and many others—the country slowly worked to acknowledge the basic rights and contributions of African-Americans. Activists outisde of the U.S. include Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, who have fought against apartheid in South Africa. Learn more about the many black activists who fought against the odds in order to achieve equality.
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